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Is self-delusion possible?

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Newme
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Newme » August 3rd, 2018, 12:54 am

Spectrum wrote:
July 15th, 2018, 12:40 am
Newme wrote:
July 13th, 2018, 2:56 pm
Spectrum,
Of the almost 1,000 biblical words to describe God, the 100 Islamic interpretations of God (one being no words can truly describe), and the many other religious and individual definitions of God, which one do you cling to to make it easier to deny? ;)
You are lost on the principles of the theistic God.
Re God or anything there is the view of 'substance versus forms.'
Whatever the infinite of forms there is only one substance or essence to God.
Due to the limitation of words, God can only be best and ultimately described in the negative.
The ultimate definition of God has to be the ontological God, i.e.
"God is being than which no greater can be idealized"

As I had argued the ultimate ontological God is an impossibility to be real.

The only reason why the idea of a God [by default is ontological] emerged is because of the existential psychological impulses.
Why do you deny these psychological impulses that drive you to be theistic?
If you make an effort to understand these primal theistic impulses you will understand [not necessary give up] why you need to cling to a God.
Ha ha! Spectrum, my rock-ribbed friend, you jump to conclusions about me. You want to box me in - slap a label on me so I’m easier for you to deal with? So while you’re telling me about me - what form of Theism do I believe in? Maybe you know me more than I do, but I don’t buy into any one theology or religion. I deem Christianity as warped into deifying a personification of pain body by human sacrifice scapegoat. But I see positive aspects and symbolism in it and other religions.

First you claimed God can only be defined by what God is not, but then you assert, “The ultimate definition of God has to be the ontological God.”
What do you mean by “God is being than which no greater can be idealized
As I had argued the ultimate ontological God is an impossibility to be real”?
Are you suggesting God as the highest GOoD imagined but never realized?

What’s funny is that unknowingly you are supporting what Buddha and Jesus taught - that the experience of God/Buddha (whatever word you prefer) is within you. Where else would it be? I think with you and most Atheists - the problem is semantics. You believe and have faith in things that are not proven & you have ultimate concerns that you worship/prioritize - but you just don’t label it God.

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Newme
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Newme » August 3rd, 2018, 1:23 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 5:10 pm
If I am agnostic about dark matter, must I know what is would be made of exactly if it were to exist?
No, but you’d at least define it as “(in some cosmological theories) nonluminous material that is postulated to exist in space and that could take any of several forms including weakly interacting particles (cold dark matter) or high-energy randomly moving particles created soon after the Big Bang (hot dark matter).”

God is a much more subjective term and is defined (in part) as other subjective term like truth, spirit and love. I’d say I’m (& most are) agnostic about some ascribed details of God, but I believe that God is in part, love, spirit and truth. And when I live as if I believe that, I tend to live better than if I didn’t.

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Frewah
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Frewah » October 31st, 2018, 7:22 pm

People certainly fool themselves but I don’t think they have any wish todo so. If you google ”common logical fallacies”, you will some 15 common ones. I have noticed one fallacy that I think hasn’t been covered.

Suppose you want to buy a car but find it very difficult to understand what cars are good and what qualities really matter to you. The more people you ask, the more confused you get. But you do understand people, at least you have opinions about people. So, instead of examing the car, you examine the seller and buy a car from the seller that you identify with. Maybe you don’t trust white-collar people so you buy from a blue-collar person.

The fallacy is that the perceived qualities that the seller has are not inherited by the car they sell. The nicest people can sell you the worst lemons, even worse than the cars in a scrapyard except for those that have been in an accident. The opposite is also true, you can buy a great car from a positively disgusting person.

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Newme
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Newme » November 10th, 2018, 9:48 pm

Frewah,
Some logical fallacies are also cognitive distortions. Assuming something is related to the person selling it may be partially jumping to conclusions, all-or-nothing thinking and over generalizing.

It seems that the most common one that trips people up is emotional reasoning (or appeal to emotion). For one thing, emotion affects physiology. When feeling extreme anger, the brain doesn’t think rationally.

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Matt321
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Matt321 » December 3rd, 2018, 6:39 pm

... the results would not change. In fact, philosophy has several times be called "finished" already, and in some sense this is even true, just the application of certain methods and arguments would still, as should be expected, require continuous work.

But this is even a trivial question, not a purely philosophical one, just made difficult by its very odd approach, one could probably only find in an online philosophy forum...

Is self-delusion possible? Self-delusion is a common concept and often identified - and sometimes resolved! - as a problem, so one can assume that it is "possible". What even seems to be the problem in that concept? The problem seems to be only introduced by one of your first questions:
"Are they always trying to get away with something they feel is wrong?"

This is such a specific, arbitrary and unnecessary idea. They don't need to feel they are wrong, they just want something to be true, more than something else. By that it is sufficient to make one preferred thought or solution stronger than the other one, for starters, by only seeing what, seemingly, speaks for the preferred one, and not only completely ignoring anything that speaks for the other one, but also ignoring what already might speak against or weaken the preferred one, one can even lack the competence - let alone the character - to examine them (this all exists in different degrees and mixtures, if you think the latter can sound "too innocent").

Various known fallacies can serve to support or protect the preferred idea even if in doubt, one can even make up any story one wants to feed the "plausibility" or "reality"/illusion of the preferred truth, which conveniently is just as hard to fully prove as to disprove (sort of like religion or ideology), one can subscribe to various CLICHÉS and beliefs, which though fallacious and similar to the latter case, give one a feeling of justification, the same as support or popularity by others (always limited, and often biased...). And ultimately one can literally just choose not to think of anything else than the preferred idea.

You are asking after the nature of psychology and some - trivial - basics of philosophy itself, indeed not more than common-sense, unless one wants to overblow it in importance or difficulty...

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chewybrian
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by chewybrian » December 4th, 2018, 5:57 am

Matt321 wrote:
December 3rd, 2018, 6:39 pm
Is self-delusion possible? Self-delusion is a common concept and often identified - and sometimes resolved! - as a problem, so one can assume that it is "possible". What even seems to be the problem in that concept? The problem seems to be only introduced by one of your first questions:
"Are they always trying to get away with something they feel is wrong?"

This is such a specific, arbitrary and unnecessary idea. They don't need to feel they are wrong, they just want something to be true, more than something else. By that it is sufficient to make one preferred thought or solution stronger than the other one, for starters, by only seeing what, seemingly, speaks for the preferred one, and not only completely ignoring anything that speaks for the other one, but also ignoring what already might speak against or weaken the preferred one, one can even lack the competence - let alone the character - to examine them (this all exists in different degrees and mixtures, if you think the latter can sound "too innocent").
I'm not sure this is such a trivial concept, as it affects or explains a lot of bad behavior and failure in the world. If people faced up to what they see as the truth and acted upon it, one presumes the world would be a different place. How often do you hear: "I am a coward", "I am lazy", or "I am selfish", yet how many really are so? Deep down, I think they know the truth. I was, I am, curious to see what others think.

The problem I was noticing is that we should not be able to successfully fool ourselves. Can God make a rock so big he can't move it? Can a man make a lie so strong that he believes it? You can fool someone with limited information, or someone not as smart as you. But, lying to yourself is a stalemate in terms of intelligence, and the kicker is that you have full access to the information and were even witness to the building of the lie.

Are they always trying to get away with something? Well, yes, probably. If I prefer the action which is also the morally correct action, then I have no need to convince myself that my motives are right; they are. If I prefer to be weak, lazy or greedy, and I know I could do better, then I may feel the need to justify my actions with a layer of BS.

I can only think of Sartre and his idea of 'inauthentic' as addressing this problem. He certainly did not think it was a small problem. You could even say it was the core of his teachings. In the end, he thought, you are your actions, not the labels and attributes you wish to ascribe to yourself. So, self-delusion was the path to being inauthentic, and failing to live up to your true, best self. Admitting the truth to yourself, and acting on its implications, was the only way out.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Eduk » December 4th, 2018, 6:28 am

I don't think you start with a lie and decide it is true. You start with something you know to be true and are then forced to lie in order to maintain said truth.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by cavacava » December 5th, 2018, 9:42 am

chewybrian wrote:
July 8th, 2018, 6:33 am
Do sane, rational people ever successfully fool themselves?
What valid reasons, if any, could these folks have for wishing to delude themselves? Are they always trying to get away with something they feel is wrong? Is self-delusion always involuntary, always deliberate, or can it be either or both? By what process or processes do people accomplish this deceit, if in fact they do? Is the deception, or the attempt, ever justified; can the means of fooling yourself result in worthwhile ends?

Have you ever deceived yourself; if so, how and why? Would you know if you had, or can this only be seen in others, or perhaps after the fact?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkdU7p30xKg
Yes, I think that we successfully fool ourselves all the time. However, delusions are different than self-deception, as delusions are clinically described and when due to impairment, they can't be avoided.

Non pathological delusions are a form of psychosis, a gap or break with normative reality. Lacanians suggest that "Delusions are a self-generated attempt to throw or project meaning onto the world where meaning seems to be absent, and medications designed to suppress delusions consequently suppress this meaning-making process." (Bruce Fink).

Self Deception can be the result of delusion, but most of the time it has to do with our own normative bias, desires, and our behavior in relationship to others.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Fooloso4 » December 5th, 2018, 5:00 pm

Anyone who thinks that he have never deluded himself is deluding himself.

(Sorry, I tried to do with with gender neutral pronouns but it just did not sound right.)

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Greta
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Greta » December 5th, 2018, 5:55 pm

Those who believe they have never deluded themselves are deluding themselves? :)

I agree with @Eduk. The ancients saw the problems with both the variety of vehement opposing positions and a post-fact approach, so they tried to establish what they could definitely ascertain to be true and build from there.

The obvious problem is that, millennia further down the track, and we still don't know enough to understand what is going on with life, the universe and everything. Yet, as intelligent animals, our entire modus operandi is to understand circumstances better than other species. This gap is intolerable, so we start guessing. People's favourite guesses, that makes for the best stories, become religions.

Still, there is a fault line when people believe all the content of their thought streams, treating it as an unconscious truth delivered as intuition. In truth, many thoughts in our thought stream are simply noise. Brains are not perfect, nothing is.

The danger is life's inherent negativity bias, seemingly caused by the imbalance between best and worst possible scenarios - freedom/love v torture/death. So, if a person unquestioningly believes that their thought stream is a reliable source of "truth" then they will become vulnerable to depression and obsessive, circular thoughts that can be delivered hundreds of times every day for decades, replaying over and over through habituation.

Hence reason and science.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Rederic » December 5th, 2018, 5:56 pm

I once worked with a man who recounted to me an experience he had. He was a builder & was working in a house which was local to both of us.

One afternoon whilst working he heard a commotion outside. He went outside & was shocked to see emergency service vehicles filling the street. The house in question was only two houses along from where he was working.

He spoke to the local policeman standing outside the house, & was told that an occupant of the house had tried to set fire to his family. One of his son's had seen his father coming down the stairs with an open can of petrol & a lighter. Seeing the look on his father's face he immediately ran out of the house. The man's wife & other son weren't so lucky. He splashed petrol over his wife & to a lesser extent his son. He then set fire to his wife. The flames caught the fumes from the can & exploded engulfing the man. The son ran out of the house with burns to the back of his neck.

The wife had extensive burns & both she & her son were rushed to hospital. Whilst my friend was talking to the policeman, paramedics brought the husband out of the house. He was incompletely burnt from head to foot but amazingly walked out & to the ambulance where he sat on the back step.

While he was sitting there my friend clearly heard him say to the paramedic that God told him to do it

Now, this man was clearly mentally ill. It got me thinking that I've heard many people state that God talks or otherwise communicates with them. I've heard of people claiming that God has called them become a missionary or any other messeges to perform actions.

Apart from the level of violence & degree of harm, what distinguishes one from the other?
There was a time when religion ruled the world, it was called the Dark Ages. - Ruth Green.

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Fooloso4 » December 5th, 2018, 6:13 pm

Greta:
Those who believe they have never deluded themselves are deluding themselves?
I like that better. I’ll delude myself and blame it on the pain (sciatica).

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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Intellectual_Savnot » December 5th, 2018, 10:25 pm

I believe that self-delusion is fully possible, and with each time we make a definite conclusion we risk a full on self delusion. I personally believe that we can't know we know anything, so every time we believe we know something or are convinced we know something, it is highly possible we have been played. ( I define delusion as a belief that which is contradicted by a truth or definite reality) I myself have defined many things for myself as to avoid confusion such as "logic" or "free will" or my personal intellectual codes I try to follow. While this is very helpful for making a decision or thinking a thought without getting confused by my own lapses in adamancy, I yet find that I have a very hard time believing anything that isn't an idea, but rather an absolute, such as: "it is raining", or "sound travels in waves". Because of my extreme caution in many regards, I believe the only self-delusion I have been guilty of is convincing myself that I don't know something when in reality I completely know that thing. I also may trust entirely some other persons opinion because I have deemed them a person of my own capabilities in every regard, or equally as maintaining the intellectual codes ( as far as I am concerned, anyway), so I will take to heart some thing that was complete BS. Self-delusion in trusting another person comes also in the form of actually regarding a person's beliefs and opinions as well founded, when in reality they never think about what they talk about. I did not really have somewhere I intended on taking this post, so I will promptly resume doing my homework. Good day. :^

)

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Newme
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Re: Is self-delusion possible?

Post by Newme » December 6th, 2018, 6:28 pm

Rederic wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 5:56 pm
I once worked with a man who recounted to me an experience he had. He was a builder & was working in a house which was local to both of us.

One afternoon whilst working he heard a commotion outside. He went outside & was shocked to see emergency service vehicles filling the street. The house in question was only two houses along from where he was working.

He spoke to the local policeman standing outside the house, & was told that an occupant of the house had tried to set fire to his family. One of his son's had seen his father coming down the stairs with an open can of petrol & a lighter. Seeing the look on his father's face he immediately ran out of the house. The man's wife & other son weren't so lucky. He splashed petrol over his wife & to a lesser extent his son. He then set fire to his wife. The flames caught the fumes from the can & exploded engulfing the man. The son ran out of the house with burns to the back of his neck.

The wife had extensive burns & both she & her son were rushed to hospital. Whilst my friend was talking to the policeman, paramedics brought the husband out of the house. He was incompletely burnt from head to foot but amazingly walked out & to the ambulance where he sat on the back step.

While he was sitting there my friend clearly heard him say to the paramedic that God told him to do it

Now, this man was clearly mentally ill. It got me thinking that I've heard many people state that God talks or otherwise communicates with them. I've heard of people claiming that God has called them become a missionary or any other messeges to perform actions.

Apart from the level of violence & degree of harm, what distinguishes one from the other?
Faith must be balanced with reason. Many people don’t realize that like some sexual disorder and SJW movements, religion is based on emotional reasoning. “If I feel it, it must be true.” There is a tingling (goosebumps) feeling that many receive when thinking about GOoD things. But instead of just appreciating the feeling, there is a tendency to attach one’s own interpretations based on personal fears or desires. Also, the idea of God has been warped - by theists and atheists. If God is considered GOoD, love and truth (as referenced to God biblically) - then people would stop and think if their interpretations were truly of God or if they were based on their own emotional reasoning.

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